Ever since Dogfish Head Craft Brewery introduced the Randall in 2002, breweries and bars have filtered beer through crazy ingredients to create new flavors. Here are five flavor fusions that make us salivate:
What’s a Randall?
Randall the Enamel Animal is the proper name of Dogfish Head’s infusion gadget. Here’s how it works: Draft beer streams through a chamber filled with hops, fruit or spices, imparting distinct flavors into the beer right before it’s poured. Many bars and breweries use the official DFH Randall, though some have cobbled together their own infusion devices.
The Next Level
A desire for better and bolder beer infusions led Sycamore Brewing in Charlotte, North Carolina, to create The Moon Unit, a filter with a larger chamber (about 55 percent bigger than a Randall) constructed of stainless steel and glass. Some of Sycamore’s favorite infusions so far include its Southern Girl lager—a GABF bronze medal-winner last year—with strawberries and white chocolate, and The Feats of Strength bourbon barrel-aged stout filtered through chocolate-covered pretzels.
Want to experiment with beer infusions at home? All you need is a French press. Just place your ingredients at the bottom of the vessel and pour in your beer; let the beer absorb the additions for 10 to 20 minutes, then press the plunger down and pour the liquid out through the strainer into a glass. Start small at first (no need to waste an entire beer if the concoction doesn’t taste quite right) and scale up once you’ve discovered your desired flavors.